You can blend two photos together in Photoshop Elements and have a nice smooth transition between them.
Click on the video below to see exactly what to do. Under the video is a step-by-step illustrated outline for your reference.
Open the two photos in Photoshop Elements that you want to blend together. My photos are named "boyatpiano" and "musicnotes".
I have a “tab” at the top of the window with the name of both of the photos that I have open in Elements.
I can click on either of those tabs to make that image the active image.
I’m going to click on the tab for the photo that’s named “boyatpiano”. And that photo appears in the Active Image Area indicating that it’s the active photo.
I’m going to press Command-A on a Mac or it would be Control-A on a PC (which are keyboard shortcuts for the "Select All" command) to make a Selection of the entire photo.
Now you can press Command-C on a Mac or Control-C on a PC to Copy. Since we have chosen "Select All" the entire photo of the boy is copied to the computer's clipboard.
Next I’ll click on the tab for the photo named “musicnotes” to make it the active photo.
and I’ll press Command-V on a Mac or Control-V on a PC to paste the “boyatpiano” photo that I had copied.
We can look at the Layers Panel and see that the “boy” photo was pasted in as a new Layer named "Layer 1" in the “musicnotes” photo.
And even though we have the "musicnotes" photo active we see the "boyatpiano" photo in the Active Image Area because the new Layer of the boy is covering up the music notes which is on the Background Layer.
Now let’s add a Layer Mask to Layer 1.
To do that click on the little Add a Layer Mask icon in the Layers Panel. It looks like a circle inside of a square.
The Layer Mask will be added to whatever Layer is currently active (highlighted in blue). In our case it's the new Layer named Layer 1.
Now we see our Layer Mask thumbnail to the right of our regular thumbnail on Layer 1.
In the final step of this tutorial we'll blend Layer 1 of the boy with the Background Layer which is the musical notes.
We can use the Gradient Tool on our Layer Mask to smoothly blend two photos together. The Gradient Tool is located in the Draw section of the Toolbox. You can click on it there or press the letter “G” on your keyboard to make it the active tool.
In the Tool Options (located at the bottom of the PSE window) click on the arrow next to the gradient preview and the Gradient Picker
I’m going to choose this third gradient which is called “black, white” by clicking on it. As its name suggests, this is the gradient that goes from black to white.
The other option that I want to choose is the pattern for the gradient. Those are represented by these 5 icons on the right. I’m going to choose this first option which is a Linear Gradient by clicking on it.
Before you continue make sure that you have Layer 1 active and that you have the Layer Mask active. You can do both of those things by clicking directly on the Layer Mask in the Layers Panel.
Now I’ll place my cursor over my photo in the Active Image Area somewhere on the left half of the photo.
Then click-and-drag towards the right. As I drag, I’m going to hold down the Shift Key which will keep my line perfectly straight.
When I get to the right half of my photo, I’ll release the mouse button and I can now also release the Shift Key.
In the Active Image Area you can see that we have a nice blending of our two Layers.
You can easily experiment with different blends. No need to undo the last gradient. All you have to do is drag over the photo in the Active Image Area again.
The new gradient will automatically replace the previous gradient.
That completes this tutorial for how to blend two photos together!
Please give this a try right now while it's fresh in your mind. I think you'll be surprised how easy this is.
Just open two different photos inside of Photoshop Elements which is Step One.
Now you'll only have three steps left!
Until next time, this is Rick saying . . . Take care!
PS: This tutorial is based on one of the thirty-two videos in my online course which is to help beginners completely understand how to use Layers in Photoshop Elements. You can check it out here.